After Christmas Eve service, my family drove into downtown St. Paul and randomly handed out 15 Christmas Acts of Kindness — envelopes into which we tucked $5 gift cards, hand knit scarves or a kid’s book. We looked for people waiting at the bus stop, cleaning a deserted office building or simply walking in the cold. I, of course, was curious about their stories.
During hectic times, I like to jump-start my creative writing practice with the Present Moment writing prompt to pull me back to today, to notice what is rich and savory about this. Very. Minute.
When the big life answers don’t come in my time frame, I need to turn my attention to and be grateful for the beauty that fills my life in an everyday way—and find inspiration there. The same goes for our writing. While we trying to get the big stuff down—genre, characters, plot, narrative story arc , we need to focus, too, on the smallest supporting cast if you will—the objects and experiences that can either be overlooked OR unearthed, examined and celebrated.
I have participated in a lot of bookselling events through the years. Radio interviews and telephone appearances, too. Some have been successful. Sold lots of books from them and made great connections. And others? Crickets. What makes my line of books unique is that some of my back list titles are still selling years after their debut. What I’ve learned, however, is that you can only use the “new book” angle once. After that, you have to get creative with your marketing to keep selling your books.
I just finished my newest children’s book called I’ll Never Let You Go. It’s the story of Edward (a bear) and his best friend Blankie, a fuzzy blue fabric scrap. Yep, Blankie is as real as any human friend with emotions and idiosyncrasies to match. Cuddly, thoughtful, kind, protective… and afraid of thunderstorms.